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Programming Archive

Sunday, November 25, 2012 - 9:00pm

What is human consciousness and does it emerge from some particular part of our brain? Do other animals experience consciousness and is there any proof for the evolution of consciousness. These are some of the most essential and important questions of our existence. Our guest tonight on Inquiry is Daniel Bor, a research fellow at the Sackler Center for Consciousness Science and the Department of Informatics at the University of Sussex. His new book The Ravenous Brain: How The New Science of Consciousness Explains Our Insatiable Search for Meaning is a dynamic and fascinating review of the latest scientific discoveries in the neurosciences and what it can tell us about our experience of who we are.

America’s trade relationship with China began right after the Revolutionary War. The Middle Kingdom did not trust foreigners and confined American and European ships to the port of Canton. American traders brought sea otter pelts; sealskins; sandalwood, běche de mer (sea cucumbers) to trade for Chinese tea, silks, spices, jade and porcelain. American and British ships also smuggled in opium, despite that fact that Chinese law prohibited trade in that drug. This would eventually lead to The Opium War, which would affect China’s attitudes to outside influences to this day. Tonight on Inquiry we talk with award-winning author Eric Jay Dolin about his exciting new history book, When America First Met China: An Exotic History of Tea, Drugs, and Money in the Age of Sail.

 

Sunday, November 25, 2012 - 10:00am

In an all-new episode, Steve D'Agostino, principal of Best Rate of Climb, interviews Gary Pfeil, president of Roche Bros. They talk about how supermarket chains are filling their profit baskets in a tough economy.

Roche Bros. is a chain of supermarkets based in Wellesley, Massachusetts. The company's stores are primarily located in the Boston metro area. Roche Bros., which also operates the supermarket chain Sudbury Farms, is owned and operated by brothers Ed and Rick Roche.

Their parents, Pat and Bud Roche, opened their first store in 1952 in Roslindale. This first meat-and-produce store expanded in 1957 to include a grocery department. From there, the company began to grow with the opening of a store in Needham in 1959 and in West Roxbury in 1967.

The company’s first Sudbury Farms store had its debut in 1980 in Sudbury. At that time, Sudbury Farms was a new concept in the supermarket industry. It featured one of the largest bulk-produce departments, a deli kitchen with a large variety of home-made, quality entrees and side dishes, and a fresh fish department with exclusive rights to sell Foley Fish, which had only been available in the finest restaurants in the United States.

The second Sudbury Farms opened in Randolph in 1983 and the third Sudbury Farms opened in 1990 in Needham. In 2007, Roche Bros. opened its 18th store in Westboro, with all the concepts of its previous stores as well a greater selection of organic, natural and fresh products.

Steve's guest, Gary Pfiel, has been president of Roche Bros. since 2009. He had been with the company since 1996 and was named vice president and general manager in 2004.

Friday, November 23, 2012 - 6:00pm

When Pianist Billy Childs was 21 in late 1978,  the high-profile, high-register trumpeter Freddie Hubbard hired him.

"I can't imagine the patience that [Hubbard] must have exercised while trying to solo while I am 'helping' him with my youthful comping [accompanying] ideas, which a lot of times meant just playing all over his solo," Childs tells JazzSet. "I feel fortunate to have been brought up in that time, because that was the way you learned jazz. [You] learned by doing it."

Beyond jazz, Childs has composed for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Detroit Symphony and the Kronos Quartet (Music for Two Quartets for the Monterey Jazz Festival), to name three. He calls his recent music for jazz group and string quartet "Jazz Chamber Music."

Live on Toast of the Nation from NPR Music, Dee Dee Bridgewater emcees the show at The Blue Whale, with the Grammy-winning Childs and his quartet. Reedman Bob Sheppard pulls four times his weight, performing on soprano, alto and tenor saxes, as well as playing flute in "Quiet Girl."

More than 20 Decembers ago, Sheppard was in a Freddie Hubbard group, live on NPR's New Year's Eve Coast to Coast from Catalina's in Hollywood. Hubbard played "Bolivia" by his long-ago bandmate, pianist Cedar Walton, to ring in 1991.

At 11:45 New Year's Eve on NPR's Toast of the Nation 2011-12, Childs calls for "Bolivia," too. It's a coincidence, but still a handshake across the decades, as Hubbard and Childs both recognize a great tune for intensifying our happiness as we say goodbye to the old year and celebrate the new.

 

Thursday, November 22, 2012 - 11:00am

Have you wondered why there seems to have been such a dramatic rise in disorders like asthma, food allergies, and Multiple Sclerosis in the last decades? Some researchers believe it is because our autoimmune system has run out of control. Some of the reasons for this are startling and counter-intuitive. Is there a connection between our living in more sterile environments and the rise of these disorders? Tune in tonight for a truly thought provoking talk with science journalist MOISES VELASQUEZ-MANOFF. His new book is titled AN EPIDEMIC OF ABSENCE: A NEW WAY OF UNDERSTANDING ALLERGIES AND AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES.

Thursday, November 22, 2012 - 10:00am

Insects are all around us in the air, on land, in the water and even in our houses. There are thousands of species that live in New England alone. Most of us are familiar with butterflies, moths, grasshoppers and fleas. But how many of you have heard of Blister Beetles or Snow Scorpionflies? Our guest tonight on Inquiry is TOM MURRAY, natural historian, writer and photographer. His latest book has been more than a decade in the making. INSECTS OF NEW ENGLAND AND NEW YORK is a field guide to over 1250 distinctive insects found in our area illustrated mostly with Tom’s own photographs. Tune in and learn about the diverse and wild world of the insects around us. Imagoe of a Snow Scorpionfly by Tom Murray

Tuesday, November 20, 2012 - 6:00pm

Singer/songwriter Caroline Doctorow talks about the influence her famous father E.L. Doctorow has had on her writing and how she marries jazz and folk music.

Sunday, November 18, 2012 - 10:30pm

This past election year has focused on many issues like the economy,taxes,defense,jobs and the national defecit. But while these are all important issues another issue has been largely ignored. The nations crumbling infrastructure. From bridges, dams and roadways to water and sewer lines. The lack of political will to address this mounting problem is startling. This week Al is loined by attorney, author and national spokesperson, Barry LePatner. For the past 30 years LePatner has practiced construction law and has written books and testified before Congress about this growing problem. Tune in this Sunday evening at 10:30 for an eye opening discussion.

Sunday, November 18, 2012 - 9:00pm

Imagine in the middle of a job interview being asked the following question: “You are shrunk to the height of a nickel and thrown into a blender. Your mass is reduced, so your density is the same as usual. The blades start moving in 60 seconds. What do you do?” For some years now, corporations like Google, Microsoft and even Walmart have begun to ask applicants tough thought problems and odd problems meant to showcase how the applicant creatively solves problems. How hard are these questions? Tune in tonight when we talk with author William Poundstone  about his new informative and fun book: Are You Smart Enough To Work At Google? Trick Questions,  Zen-Like Riddle, Insanely Difficult Puzzles and Other Devious Interviewing Techniques You Need To Know To Get A Job Anywhere In The New Economy.

Is there such a thing as “gay culture”? If so, what is the relationship between gay culture and sexuality? Is there a “right way” to be gay? What is the function of camp? The answers to these complex questions also help define sex roles in the larger American culture. Tune in tonight when we have an interesting discussion about culture and sexual orientation with David M. Halperin, the W.H. Auden Distinguished University Professor of the History and Theory of Sexuality at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. His new book How To Be Gay began as a controversial course he offered years ago that posed these questions and many more.

 

Friday, November 16, 2012 - 6:00pm

Dee Dee Bridgewater's smile says it all: JazzSet is happily celebrating 20 years of performances every week on NPR. In September, we featured original host Branford Marsalis with his 2012 quartet for our anniversary. Now, today's host Dee Dee Bridgewater weaves her spell and leads a crack quintet through a new set from the Caramoor Jazz Festival.

Held each summer in the lovely hillside country of Westchester County, the Caramoor Jazz Festival is in a Venetian theatre in a rolling woods, about 40 miles northeast of New York City. All summer, Caramoor presents chamber music, opera, Latin music, a resident orchestra and more — rain or shine. The 2012 jazz lineup featured Bridgewater, drummer extraordinaire Roy Haynes, solo pianist Kenny Barron, award-winning vocalist Gretchen Parlato and the smoking-hot Cookers all-star band.

Bridgewater's musical director is Edsel Gomez, arranger and pianist. He's her orchestra, pacesetter and descarga driver all in one. Craig "My Handyman" Handy on saxophone shadows and boxes with Bridgewater's voice. They revel in their closeness in "Besame Mucho." Michael Bowie played bass for Abbey Lincoln, one of Bridgewater's mentors and friends (as heard in her Tribute to Abbey on JazzSet). Bridgewater first heard Kenny Phelps last year in the house band at The Jazz Kitchen in Indianapolis. He was accompanying finalists in the American Pianists Association competition. She loved the pianists, but she got Phelps' phone number on the spot.

After Bridgewater's set at Caramoor, there was a moment backstage when she reunited with her dear friend Roy Haynes. Flashbulbs were popping as they admired each other's shoes. (Thanks to Richard Conde for the picture.)

Haynes' Fountain of Youth Band (Jaleel Shaw, Martin Bejerano, David Wong) give us a little something extra for the site, fulfilling a request from someone in the audience for "All Blues."

The 2013 Caramoor Jazz Festival will be the 20th, and it's already scheduled for July 26-28. Jim Luce produces the Caramoor Jazz Festival. Managing director is Paul Rosenbloom.

Friday, November 16, 2012 - 12:30pm

A pre-recorded show where all the songs are about or mention singers, songs, singing and playing, dancing, and/or music. Featured artists will include Eric Sinclair, Rosanne Cash, Phil Ochs, Pete Seeger, the Hillside Singers, the Halifax Three, the Mamas & the Papas, Tommy Makem & the Clancy Brothers, Tommy Sands, Ellis Paul, Buskin & Batteau, the Kingston Trio, the Kossoy Sisters, the Highwaymen, the Youngbloods, Dire Straits, the Limeliters, Ali Marcus, Jason Eady, Burl Ives, the Brandywine Singers, Ian & Sylvia, Josh Joffen, Bobby Darin, Joe Jencks, Perry Desmond-Davies, the Gaither Gospel Singers, the Cathedral Quartet, Great Bay Sailor, Dom McLean, Jerry Jeff Walker, Joel Rafael, Gale Garnett, Worcester County Tradition (John Henry), the Edna Project, Beth DeSombre, Cadence Carroll, Sarah Lee Guthrie, and the Cat's Meow... Enjoy!

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